Friday, March 21, 2014

Scout's Duty - Chapter 72

< Chapter 71                                                                                                   Chapter 73 >
Megan has told our hero that Heidi’s husband, unlike all the others, isn’t afraid of the pirates!

As Megan's words sank in, I nodded my head toward our ship.  "Let's go inside and discuss this further."

Switching from observant to obstinate, Megan asked, "Why?  It's not like any of the pirates can understand us."

"Is 'because I asked politely' sufficient?"

"Oh, wait!" she said, comprehension dawning.  "It's because of those 'recording' things you've told us about, right?"

A few pirates looked up at Megan's words.  Well, at one of her words.  There is no Mordanian word for 'recording,' so we'd simply used the gal base word.  Hearing a familiar word from people who aren't supposed to speak their language could make a pirate suspicious.

I looked at the men around us and didn't see any narrowing of the eyes or anyone hurrying off to report the slip to a superior.  Callan was already speaking before I turned back to Megan.

"Exactly right, Megan."  Turning toward the boarding ramp, my wife added, "Come on."

I entered the ship in time to catch the tail end of Callan's admonishment to Megan.  All I can say is that Callan took a more gentle tone than I would have -- far more gentle.  Megan was nodding and biting her lower lip, so Callan's approach appeared to be working.

"Your impetuous nature is one of your most endearing qualities," Callan wrapped up, "but for the next few hours you must keep tight rein on it!"

I put a smile on my face and was careful to keep my tone neutral as I asked, "Tell us what you observed concerning Heidi's husband?"

"When that old, scary pirate spoke, all of the men reacted like whipped dogs," Megan said.  "They looked down and tried to wipe all expression from their faces.  Heidi's husband kept his head up, gazing at the other men with a bit of a smirk on his lips."

I didn't like the sound of that one bit.  "Do you think he's working for the pirates -- sort of their inside man among their hostage tech crew?"

Megan gave my question some thought before nodding.  "There could be something else behind his expression, indomitable will or something heroic like that, but I don't think so."

"Thank you for that assessment, Megan!"  I turned to one of the guards Rupor had stationed inside the airlock.  "Please bring Heidi and her husband to me."

Moments later the guard returned.  He was alone.

He snapped off a salute and reported, "Sir, they're gone!”

Where are Heidi and her husband?  And what does the husband know or suspect?  Find out in Chapter 73, coming Monday!